Tracker means a person or a device that follows the movements of someone or something. Electronic trackers work on the same principle using some wireless technology like Bluetooth, microwave, WiFi etc. Before we discuss the potentials of these technologies in tracking systems. Let us learn how actually they work. Which help us to understand which technology is best suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
Bluetooth tracker is a relatively new idea. Bluetooth trackers. With the help of a smart phone app you can track the things you often forget where you placed them or you often forget to pick them when you leave your home or office e.g. keys, laptop bag, camera etc.
The release of Bluetooth 4.0 version opened new ways of its applications. The key feature of this version is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Because of BLE, tiny Bluetooth gadgets can be made which can provide battery timing for a year without replacing it or on a single recharge.
The Bluetooth tracker makes connection with your smart phone via an app. It continuously monitor your distance from the object attached with the tracker. When you cross a particular distance, it generates an alarm to alert you.
Is Bluetooth Tracker is Ideal For You?
This purely depends upon your needs. For example if you often forget your keys or bag or you carrying something with you don’t normally carry with you. Bluetooth is a right choice for you.
But remember one thing Bluetooth is not a tracking device like GPS. Bluetooth can only locate your object when you are within range of about roughly 200 feet. But if the object is stolen then Bluetooth tracker can’t help you to track current location of the object. For example if you forget your wallet on office table and you leave the office. The tracking app lets you know the last place where you put the wallet. You go there, if wallet is still there it will automatically connect with your phone and generate the beep otherwise it can’t locate the new location of the wallet outside tracker’s range.
Bluetooth trackers are not good for outdoor applications or long distance tracking. It only track your gadget up to few meters.
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. This system is used to track the position of someone or something. I would like to comment no doubt GPS is one of the best inventions of this century. By using global navigation satellite system (GNSS), GPS tracker receives signal from satellites and calculate the accurate position of the GPS enabled devices and vehicles. And finally it displays the position on mobile screen, laptop or any other supporting gadget.
There are cooperate as well as personal applications of GPS trackers. For example just put GPS tracker in your children’s bag and you can monitor their position in real time when they are on their way to school or coming back to home. People even use these trackers to locate the position of their pets, luggage, cars etc to prevent them from getting lost.
Why GPS tracker is better than Bluetooth Tracker?
As mentioned above GPS tracker uses satellite so it is not bound to any “tag” like Bluetooth in order to locate the position of object. GPS continuously communicate with satellite so there is no restriction to coverage are.
So GPS trackers are best for outdoor usage, it can find the location from anywhere and can send it to your device.
GPS tracker is one of the best technology for navigation and positioning. But it is only ideal for outdoor activities. Inside super markets, large buildings, big malls, universities etc GPS is not a good option. GPS decreases position accuracy while using indoor. In addition to this GPS consumes more battery as compared to other applications.
WiFi positioning system provides an alternative solution. It uses WiFi signals of your building. It’s mean installation is quiet easy and cheap if you already have WiFi at your premises.
WiFi indoor positioning gives a high level of accuracy but it depends upon multiple factors. The walls and other things create interference. Secondly it depends upon the number of WiFi access points. The WiFi tag send information to access points within range. The software algorithm calculates the position based on RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) . The MAC (Media Access Control) address is necessary to identify the particular device. The accuracy varies from 3 to 5 meters.
Why Google and Apple Use WiFi for Position Accuracy?
Technology giants like Google and Apple even use WiFi to find the location of someone to high accuracy. Many times you observe when you open the maps you get a pop-up message something like you turn on your WiFi, WiFi will give accurate results. You often see this message when you open your Uber app too.
How it works? Lets try to understand simply. Devices like mobile phones have both WiFi and GPS services. These two are used to send location information to the company’s server where information is stored. Information includes MAC address of your WiFi access point. The GPS system when finds location of your mobile phone it also scans the nearby WiFi networks.
Now consider that you are entering into building’s basement or there is a thunderstorm outside and your GPS is not working because the signals are too weak to determine location. But in that case the location of nearby WiFi is already stored in the server so they find your exact location again. These location based service provider companies continuously refresh their data.